Lent 2023: Fasting Apathy-Making Space for Holy Anger

Today’s Fast: APATHY

In a society drowning in bad ‘news’, apathy can seem an attractive alternative to absorbing the insane amount of planetary pain the Internet brings to our attention every waking moment. However, the antonyms of apathy are not absorption, activism or even emotionalism; they are sympathy, sensitivity and concern.

Alicia Britt Chole

Holy gets angry.

When the things that break God’s heart break mine, it’s natural and right that my spirit cries for justice.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Apathy-Making Space for Holy Anger

Lent 2023: Making Space For the TRULY Holy

If you’ve ever spent even a minute in an museum of art you’ve probably run across some old paintings where saints are signified with round rings of light over their heads.

Halos were meant to be a shorthand for identifying the truly righteous from ordinary folk.

Problem is, more often than not the standards applied by those making the distinction are not the true standards God reveals in His word and by the example of Jesus, His Son.

So today we are fasting halos-false definitions of holy-and making room for the TRULY holy which often makes us uncomfortable.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Making Space For the TRULY Holy

Lent 2023: Making Space for Vulnerability

I picked this book up on a whim sometime last year not knowing how wonderful and insightful and helpful it would be as I hurtle toward the eight year mark of Dom’s leaving for Heaven.

Yet every single day when I turn the page to the next discussion and reflection there is a fresh awakening in my spirit to something I need to explore.

I understand how a heart wants to wall itself off after prayers go unanswered (please don’t regale me with, “But they are all eventually answered”); plans fall apart; others’ sinful actions pound a soul to dust; and lives sacrificially poured out on the table of service are abruptly and unceremoniously cut short.

Why hope if hope is never realized (on this mortal plane)?

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Making Space For Vulnerability

Lent 2023: Fasting Spectatorship-Choosing to Participate

How many of you enjoy looking at Pinterest or other idea generating Internet sites? How many of the ideas you’ve saved have ever resulted in actual projects?

I think spectatorship has been elevated to an entirely new level with social media.

It’s easy to do in real life too! I can stand by and watch others getting involved and making a difference and convince my heart that’s the same thing as doing something.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Fasting Spectatorship-Choosing to Participate

Lent 2023: Letting Go of Stinginess, Living a Generous Life

You know what makes me very, very sad?

When those who follow Jesus are parsimonious they proclaim by action that the God we serve is Himself limited and stingy.

And that is a lie.

So today’s fast is stinginess.

Don’t get me wrong-don’t start a string of comments that pit one economic system against another, please. BUT-God’s economy is NOT a zero-sum “game” where if one person receives plenty another goes wanting.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Letting Go of Stinginess, Living a Generous Life

Lent 2023: Letting Go of the Need to “Fix” It

As a people-pleasing firstborn pseudo-control-freak I’m all about fixing it.

I’m pretty sure I chose Psychology as one of my college majors because I figured it would better equip me to fix relationships around me.

But life intervened with first smaller unfixable crises and then the ultimate no-way-on-earth-to-fix-it death of Dominic. So I’m not nearly as inclined toward even trying now as I was a few years ago.

Still, I can find myself falling into the old habit of offering up advice instead of offering an ear. I might quickly delve unasked into my own experience and silence a heart that simply needs to be heard. I may well toss out trite “reasons” that “explain” why awful visited my friend while God seemed silent.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Letting Go of the Need to “Fix It”, Making Space To Watch God Work

Lent 2023: Making Room for Spiritual Hunger

“Revelations are often followed by trials. Perhaps they are preparation for them.” ~Alicia Britt Chole

My greatest trial has been the sudden death of my son, Dominic.

Just before he was killed in April, 2014 I wrapped up a multi-year slow walk through Scripture. What began as a discipline intended to force my heart to really focus and digest words I’d read so often they had (in some ways) become stale, ended up with me copying out nearly every chapter of the Bible into my journals.

I learned so much, received so much and was full to the brim of revelation and truth.

That was a good thing because when Dom died it was a long time before I could open my Bible on a regular basis and feast on the Word.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Making Room for Spiritual Hunger

Lent 2023: Refusing to Speed Past Sorrow

There are several recorded incidents where Jesus withdrew seeking solitude and solace. 

One of them is upon hearing of John’s beheading at the hands of Herod. 

If we accept that our Shepherd was a perfect model in all things  (and I do!) then this is a model for dealing with sorrow and loss. 

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Refusing To Speed Past Sorrow

Lent 2023: Making Space for Authentic Faith

n Jewish culture, “It’s an act of reverence to ask questions of the story. The Jews are confident that the story is strong enough to be tried and tested….Around the table, a Jewish child has ‘That’s a good question!’ drummed into his or her soul, not ‘You don’t ask that question’…Questions are a sacred as answers.” (Dr. Leonard Sweet)

If you’ve read a single word I’ve written in the past eight years you know how close this truth is to my heart!

I think we do a disservice to ourselves and others when we reduce the complexities of Scripture to something like Aesop’s Fables. Real people lived real lives and had real questions. The Almighty God is big enough to handle them.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Making Space for Authentic Faith

Lent 2023: Making Space for REAL Light

Today’s fast is artificial light.

Without reading ahead I kind of stepped on today’s reflection. Chole describes John’s prison questions this way: “the distance between what John thought Jesus would do and what Jesus actually did was straining John’s certainty of who Jesus was.”

Oh, my! How well I can identify with this feeling!

I’ve told anyone who will listen that when Dominic was killed I dragged a lifetime of what I thought I knew and understood about God into the light of child loss. It absolutely strained my certainty of who Jesus is.

And my questions made some folks uncomfortable just as John’s question makes some Bible teachers uncomfortable.

Read the rest here: Lenten Reflections: Making Space For REAL Light

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